The third – and first in three years-album shows Sam Smith from two sides. The singer takes a step towards electronic and dance music but pays attention to the "signature" heartbreaking slow compositions. At the same time, the overall mood of the album is inspiring and positive.
The album "Love Goes" does not have the easiest fate. Originally, it was supposed to be called "To Die For", and the release was planned for May 1. The pandemic made its own adjustments – and they were not limited to postponing the release. The title, cover art, and overall mood have all changed. The song "To Die For", which was supposed to be the title track, was " exiled» in the bonus tracks (we will return to them later). It seems that the album was not just postponed, but reworked. Both the cover and the title were changed to " positive». Judging by the optimistic sound of the album, they are very suitable for it.
The peak of Sam Smith's career came in the first era: the album "In the Lonely Hour" (2014), duets with Disclosure and Naughty Boy, «Writing’s On The Wall». What does it feel like to have an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and four Grammys (including Record of the Year, Song of the year, and Best new artist) by the age of 23? There is simply nowhere to go further. Smith's second album did not even come close to the first in terms of success: if the worldwide circulation of "In The Lonely Hour" was 12 million copies, then the circulation of "The Thrill of It All" was only 1.4 million, almost ten times less. But, on the other hand, is it so bad? The name is still loud and recognizable, and the hits (even if not so big) continue to come out.
Sam Smith belongs to a rare type of artist today – not just a pop singer, but a top performer in the classic sense of the word. When we first started talking about the musician, we often heard comparisons with Adele. Probably, this helped Smith break into the stars – at that time, the singer took a break, and the demand for sentimental ballads and strong voices did not go away. The release of "Love Goes" took place on October 30 – according to rumors, Adele was supposed to present her fourth album on this date (which never happened). Now the cherished niche has been taken by Lewis Capaldi, but, for all his success, he is too much of An Artist. «simple» and " Narodny». Smith-for those who like it more complex and refined. It is ironic that two years ago Capaldi was the opening act for Sam Smith.
Sam Smith is now 28 years old. As previously reported, the new album will be closer to pop music than ballads. And rhythmic tracks with influences of the tropical house are really here ("Another One", "Diamonds", "Dance ('Til You Love Someone Else)"). It can be recalled that Smith's first hit (even before "Stay With Me" and " Money On My Mind») became a dance track "Latch", recorded with Disclosure. Then came Naughty Boy's "La La La" (also featuring Smith's vocals), which became an even bigger hit than "Latch". So it doesn't look like a full-fledged experiment. However, now Sam Smith is clearly more interested in dance music than before. But even without ballads ("My Oasis", "Love Goes", "Forgive Myself"), it was not possible. The artist's voice still sounds emotional and strong – and in slow songs, such vocals are revealed best of all. However, there is a suspicion that they will not become big hits, since now completely different music is in fashion.
By the way, the hits. All songs that thundered on the charts were decided to be sent as bonus tracks. These are duets with Normani and Calvin Harris ("Dancing with A Stranger" and "Promises", respectively), "Fire On Fire" from the soundtrack to the TV series "Inhabitants of the hills" and "How Do You Sleep", co-written with Max Martin, the main modern supplier of pop hits. It seems that Smith wants listeners to pay more attention to new songs, rather than already known ones. However, rejecting successful tracks altogether is also not an option, and the artist can be understood. If earlier the album tried to include as many popular songs as possible, then the era of streaming has set new (and very controversial) standards. On the one hand, the hits bring the album listening experience. On the other hand, too many singles reduce interest in a future releases. What's the point of listening to it if half the songs are already familiar? A solution with bonus tracks is a compromise option.
"Love Goes" may not seem like the most outstanding record, but the album deserves praise: Smith does not follow trends, but works with his favorite styles. While the musician turns out to sound modern, without beating around the Bush, without a care in the obscurantism and outright nostalgia. The overall positive mood of the album, which is felt even in the most tearful songs, is captivating. Sam Smith believes in the best. Here is a quote from a recent interview with the singer:
""Love Goes" is an album about the breakup of a relationship, but rather a positive one. The songs are not so emotional and sad. Forget about it and dance."